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Matt Damon News Column
Informant casting, Nancy Carlsson-Paige
  • There's some significant (and off-beat) casting news for The Informant today from the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

    "The Soup" host Joel McHale, Scott Bakula and a host of comedic actors are set to star opposite Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh's darkly comic thriller "The Informant" for Warner Independent Pictures, Participant Media and Groundswell Prods.

    Bakula and McHale, who is in final negotiations, will play FBI agents working with agri-business insider Mark Whitacre (Damon) to stop a price-fixing scam. The film is based on Kurt Eichenwald's 2000 best-seller "The Informant: A True Story."

    Other new cast members known for their comedic turns are Mike O'Malley (CBS' "Yes, Dear"), Andrew Daly ("Semi-Pro"), Adam Paul (Starz's "Hollywood Residential") and Melanie Lynskey (CBS' "Two and a Half Men"). Comedian-actors Tom Wilson, Rick Overton and Tom Papa will round out the cast.

    Although the subject matter is serious, one behind-the-scenes informant said Soderbergh is looking to create a thriller with dark comedy elements. He chose comedic actors who haven't been overexposed on film, planning to have them play their roles seriously and have a humorous tone emerge naturally.

  • A lengthy article about Matt's mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, is at the Boston Globe to promote her new book, including quotes from Matt. Nancy is pictured below with Matt and Lucy at the LA premiere of Bourne Ultimatum, and with Matt and brother Kyle as young children.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    In an interview in her Somerville row house, which is liberally decorated with artwork by her older son, Kyle Damon, a mixed-media artist, she speaks publicly for the first time about the violence in Matt's movies.

    "Do I wish my son didn't make movies with so much violence? Yes," says Carlsson-Paige, who has earned national acclaim for her groundbreaking work on the impact of media violence on children. "In my perfect world, our artists would show us a way out of the violence we are immersed in instead of perpetuating it. But what I wish for even more is that society didn't crave violence so much, because it perpetuates a cycle of violence that only produces an appetite for more and more of it. What I focus on is that we have to find ways to protect children from exposure."

    Damon says his mother's views are always in his mind. "I've always made my decision about what movies to make with an eye toward these issues," he says over the phone from London, where he was taking a break from shooting "The Green Room" in Morocco. "I've grown up knowing about all this, after all. As a high school kid, I'd come home to find my mom in the living room watching TV cartoons, counting acts of violence, and I would watch with her, to see what she was looking for. . . . I accept and agree with what she says - that it desensitizes kids, that there could be blowback from it."

    His concern led him to refuse to allow his likeness to be licensed for any "Bourne" toys or video games. "I lobbied hard [with the video producers] to not make a first-person shooter game but to make it more like Myst, which was a great interesting puzzle you tried to solve - you know, to play with his amnesia or his memory," he says. "They weren't interested. They made the video anyway, without my likeness."

    He adds, "I'd like to think that I at least made them more aware of the issues. That's step one. Step two is changing behavior. I learned that from my mom, too."

    Ever a realist, she acknowledges that some people will buy her book only because it's written by Matt Damon's mother. (Groupies' alert: The book contains about seven anecdotes from Matt's childhood.) She's not offended. "I just hope they read it once they buy it," she says.
  • 18 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

    The Informant and Nancy's book

    I hope someone tweezes Bakula's eyebrows. They might cast a shadow on Matt ;)
    And I will definitely buy Nancy's book.
    Thanks, as always, for a great site.

    From: beckettslady Date: April 1st, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Waving Hello from Across Live Journal

    Hi there. I'm very excited to learn more about The Informant. What I've read so far really has me stoked!

    BTW -- Scott's eyebrows are just fine, thank you. :)


    Scott Bakula - Who Knew?!?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 1st, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

    And hello back!

    Thanks for writing. I almost linked to your site in the main update after I saw your 2am post as the best Scott site I've found so far!

    Informant should be great (the original book is superb). Matt and Soderbergh have almost made the film numerous times over the years, but something's always come up (usually other movies for Matt for which Soderbergh has delayed this one).

    I've linked previously to a list of photos and summaries of the main players in the story, but can't find it at the moment.

    The start date is 29 April in Decatur, with other filming in LA. And supposedly, it should be finished by 30 June and the advent of a writer's strike. So a quick project with lots of interest from the local press and community in Decatur. Interesting that it's now a Warners Independent production, which makes it an 'art' movie from Warners rather than a more mainstream project.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 2nd, 2008 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: And hello back!

    Here's the link with photos of the key players, including Scott's character Brian Shepard:

    From: novice_41 Date: April 2nd, 2008 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: And hello back!

    thx for the link Felicity...

    like the addition to the TheI cast... might be really interesting what ScottB will contribute of his abilities... good actor but ehj when was his last movie run in a cinema? he is obviously more the TV actor anyway.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Bakula, etc

    No offense against Scott Bakula, my interest is actually piqued with Soderbergh's unorthodox choices. Such a great director.

    And since Matt has a big anniversary coming up later this year (the 10th anniversary of the release of GWH) I've been reflecting a little bit. According to my figures, movies that Matt has appeared in during that time have won 14 Oscars. GWH - 2; Saving Private Ryan - 5; The Departed - 4; and Bourne Ultimatum - 3. Did I miss any? Not bad, huh? :) Of course, only one was specifically for Matt, but I do think it's relevant to his talent, work ethic, good taste and industry esteem. Not many actors have their name on so many fine projects in such a short space of time. And, of course, there were other terrific projects (TBI, O11, TBS, TTMR)that weren't so honored, although they easily might have been. Sorry to be so wordy, but when you think about it, it's really quite something. He isn't 40 yet and has already had a wonderful career.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

    A heads up

    Matt is supposed to be featured on the Biography channel in the US Wed, April 2, at 10 pm ET.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 2nd, 2008 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: A heads up

    Thanks. There's a brief clip on the Biography site, and the bit I saw didn't seem entirely accurate.
    From: novice_41 Date: April 2nd, 2008 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: A heads up

    think the brief clip is of the "early year" bio ~ right? well there are anyway only a very few of excellent researcher to find on the web resp press... so maybe you could send them a mail to suggest a more accurate bio ;).

    I'm looking forward to see new vids of the actual year bio part *g*.

    anyone who's watching this 60 min. ?
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 2nd, 2008 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
    You probably already beat me in finding it but there are 2 pics of matt posing with a pap. on justjared.com

    Keep up the good work! I dont know how you find all these things even when it seems like there is nothing new out there.

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 2nd, 2008 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 2nd, 2008 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)
    And a few more photos are now available at Splash News Online:

    From: novice_41 Date: April 2nd, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

    ... and new photos from the GZ set

    thx for the paparazzi photos... nice but somehow scary ;)... by far to close ~ IMHO.

    new GZ set photos are available at celebrity-gossip.net
    From: novice_41 Date: April 2nd, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Nancy's Book

    good read... very smart woman.

    liked the last passage ;-).

    let's see her talk about her book... "Taking Back Childhood"

    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 2nd, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Just found this on youtube...http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=695kW-zd71g
    Filming at Freemason's hall in London. Where they film Spooks! Jan
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 2nd, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks, that's the seven seconds of video that appeared yesterday, I think.

    More links of Matt filming Green Zone in London Tuesday:



    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 3rd, 2008 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)


    A UK item says the planned unveiling of Matt's waxwork today was delayed due to faulty equipment in the spy camera technology.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 9th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

    The Informant

    The subject matter is serious and people went to prison for it.
    Comedy thriller? How stupid!!! Maybe the people of Decatur should boycott any filming!!@
    18 comments or Leave a comment